EAST HARTFORD -- Marinello Beauty & Cosmetology Schools closed abruptly, leaving students who paid tuition wondering what's next. Marinello's had six locations in Connecticut: East Hartford, Fairfield, Hamden, Meriden, Niantic, and Willimantic. It's Torrington branch closed January 31, 2016.
It was announced Thursday the campuses would close effective Friday, February 5.
Kimmy Hoar, an educator at the school, said, "We did our jobs accurately. Unfortunately when some of the dominos fell, it took some others down with it. But we have a very strong staff and all love working together and I do no think this will be the last of the beauty school."
She added that she wants to ensure students get the help they need to land on their feet. "On behalf of my staff, I just want to let the students know, that we made a promise to you, and we will take care of you. And we will walk you through whatever steps are necessary to get you to fulfill your dream."
The Office of Higher Education, which regulates postsecondary career schools, said nearly 500 students are enrolled at the schools. To help impacted students regain their footing, agency staff are working to secure student and and financial files, and facilitate transfer opportunities. Enrolled students are urged register their most current contact information at www.ctohe.org or by calling the agency’s Education & Employment Information Center at 800-842-0229.
“We understand that Marinello has asked its schools to remain open next week so that students may obtain paperwork and information on their options,” stated Jane A. Ciarleglio, executive director of the Office of Higher Education. “As a precaution, however, we urge students to register on our website to provide us with complete information on the status of their coursework. In the event that students are unable to deal with Marinello directly, we can provide them with copies of their transcripts, process tuition reimbursements, and facilitate transfer to other schools once we have records in hand. We are currently working with school officials to obtain electronic and paper copies of student records.”
Marinello is part of a for-profit chain of schools owned by B&H Education which operate at 56 locations across California, Kansas, Nevada and Utah and Connecticut. The schools are closing following action earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Education to cut off federal loans and grants due to a wide range of records violations.
Dorie Nolt, the press secretary for the Department of Education, said, “The office of Federal Student Aid denied recertification to 23 Marinello Schools of Beauty last week because the institution was deceiving students and taxpayers. We are committed to protecting students from deceptive practices and helping those who have been defrauded. We will post important information and updates for students at StudentAid.gov/sa/about/announcements/marinello. We are working with state higher education partners to answer questions and address student concerns. Additionally, we are making plans to have Department staff available to assist students at locations near Marinello campuses. Locations and times will be announced in coming days.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, Marinello's is not accredited. They list 31 complaints over the last 3 years.
The school posted this letter on their website:
We know that this has been a hard week with a lot of rumors circulating and we want you to know that we truly care about you and your future. We continue to make our best effort to help in this difficult time. However, it is with great sadness and regret that we must inform you that effective Thursday, February 4 (CA, NV, and UT) / Friday February 5 (CT and KS), Marinello Schools of Beauty will cease operations and that your campus will be closed.
We want you to know that we did everything in our power to avoid this unfortunate conclusion and keep your school open. Unfortunately, the Department of Education’s unprecedented and unfounded actions left us with no other option except to close our schools.
We greatly appreciate the sacrifices you have made to pursue your education and hope that you continue on with your studies. We are working hard, and are well into the process of arranging partnerships with other schools that would enable you to complete your coursework.
We will be hosting meetings on campus next week for you to obtain all of the necessary paperwork, as well as lots of information to help you understand how you can continue your education either through our partnerships with other schools or through another channel. At this meeting, you will receive your official transcripts, proof of training, Financial Aid transcripts, state contacts, and other important materials. Representatives of the state agencies in California, Nevada and Connecticut will be present at these meetings to explain your rights and the options available to you.
Please see the schedule of meetings in the right-hand column. We recommend that you make every effort to attend your campus’s meeting. However, if you cannot attend the meeting, we will mail the relevant information to the home address you give us. Please fill out the information below with your most up to date contact information and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage you to continue checking http://www.marinello.com for further information.
Our staff has been so helpful in the face of this adversity, so please do not be upset with anyone working at our campuses. We all want to come together to get through this very difficult situation.
Despite this disruption, we encourage you to continue to pursue the goals you set for yourself when you enrolled at Marinello. We are proud of your achievements and know that you have a brighter future ahead because of the skills you developed with us. We wish you the very best of luck.
Chairman & CEO
Marinello Schools of Beauty